Clearing 2021
Event

Essex Public International Law Lecture: International Law and the Politics of History

  • Mon 21 Jun 21

    12:00 - 13:00

  • Online

    Zoom

  • Event speaker

    Professor Anne Orford, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Michael D Kirby Chair of International Law at the University of Melbourne.

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Public International Law Lecture

  • Event organiser

    Law, School of

Please join us for the latest instalment of the Essex Public International Law Lecture Series.


The Essex Public International Law Lecture Series welcomes you to the latest instalment presented by Professor Anne Orford, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Michael D Kirby Chair of International Law at the University of Melbourne and chaired by Dr Emily Jones from the School of Law at the University of Essex.

Abstract

In this lecture, Anne Orford will discuss her new book International Law and the Politics of History, which explores the ideological, political, and material stakes of apparently technical disputes over how the legal past should be studied and understood. As the future of international law has become a growing site of struggle within and between powerful states, debates over the history of international law have become increasingly heated. This lecture argues that the turn to history has become a turn to a particular tone or style of writing about law – a turn to history as empiricist method. The turn to history as a method for thinking about law is strongly neoformalist. Historical scholarship, we are told, is impartial, neutral, and free of political manipulation of the past for presentist purposes. Anne Orford argues in contrast that there can be no impartial accounts of international law's past and its relation to empire and capitalism. Rather than looking to history in a doomed attempt to find a new ground for formalist interpretations of what past legal texts really mean or what international regimes are really for, she urges lawyers and historians to embrace the creative role they play in making rather than finding the meaning of international law.

 

Speaker 

Anne Orford is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Michael D Kirby Chair of International Law at the University of Melbourne, where she directed the Laureate Program in International Law from 2015 to 2020. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law. She has held visiting professorships at Harvard, Lund, Gothenburg, and Paris 1, and lectured at the Hague Academy of International Law. Her publications include Reading Humanitarian Intervention (2003), International Authority and the Responsibility to Protect (2011), Pensée Critique et Pratique du Droit International (2020), the edited collection International Law and its Others (2006), and the co-edited collections The Oxford Handbook of the Theory of International Law (2016) and Revolutions in International Law: The Legacies of 1917 (2021).

About the Essex Public International Law Lecture Series

The Essex Public International Law lecture series is founded, hosted and co-chaired by Dr Meagan Wong and Dr Emily Jones based in the School of Law. This is a weekly lecture series featuring judges of international courts and tribunals, leading academics, and practitioners of international law from governmental service, international organizations, and private practice from across the globe. The series prides itself on building on two important intellectual traditions of international law: formalism and international legal practice, and international legal theory including postcolonial and feminist perspectives. 

We welcome all students, academics, practitioners and legal advisors to join us.

How to register

You can register here for the event which will be held on zoom.

For further information

Please contact Dr Meagan Wong, meagan.wong@essex.ac.uk and Dr Emily Jones, e.jones@essex.ac.uk.

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